Michael Sheehy

Michael Sheehy

Christine Healy

Christine Healy

The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM) will presents Central Coast Ocean Adventures & the Tall Ship Mystic Whaler, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Santa Barbara Harbor, 113 Harbor Way, Ste. 190.

The in-person talk by Christine Healy and Michael Sheehy, of Central Coast Ocean Adventures (CCOA), will tell the story of the 110-foot, two-masted tall ship Mystic Whaler, her voyage from Connecticut to California, and the plans for her future.

Cost is free for SBMM’s Navigator Circle members, $10 for all other members, and $20 for the general public. There will also be a pre-lecture reception for members only from 6:15-6:45 p.m. Register at https://sbmm.org/santa-barbara-event/ and become a member at https://sbmm.org/membership/.

Attendees will get a peek into the history of Mystic Whaler and share in the voyage that brought the steel-hulled representation of a 19th-century merchant schooner from Connecticut to California.

The adventure-inspired learning experience will be explored through sailing and the sea onboard Mystic Whaler and is central to CCOA’s programs that develop and strengthen STEM academic comprehension, nautical skills, and social/emotional learning.

CCOA’s goal is to make experiential education and the Santa Barbara Channel more accessible to residents of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The sailing bug bit Healy as a teenager in Annapolis, Maryland, where she learned the basics of sailing racing with her brother aboard his 26-foot sloop, Wolpertinger. She soon became becoming a crew member.

At age 19, Healy bought her first boat Esmeralda, and took weekend trips in the Chesapeake Bay. While living onboard, she was offered her first long boat delivery, from Annapolis to St. Vincent, via Bermuda.

“It was my first time truly out at sea, and I knew it was what I wanted to do with my life,” she said. “Needless to say, it all worked out, and my career as a professional sailor began.”

After several deliveries, she began her first job aboard the schooners Woodwind and Woodwind 2, which was the start of her traditional boat career. With that experience, she moved onto larger ships, Pride of Baltimore 2, Amistad, Clipper City, Liberty, and others.

At aage 23, Healy sat for her first captain’s license: 100-ton master with sail endorsement. In 2008 she moved to California and worked on the Lynx, which sailed up and down the West Coast; then to Hawaii as an exhibition class in the Transpack 2009. She has since been working on the West Coast, based out of San Diego.

Her career experience runs the gamut from deliveries, charters, research, and private yachts to sail training and educational vessels.

“The challenges that change every day keep it interesting,” she said. “The ocean and sailing have the power to challenge students to push themselves and inspire their imagination. To teach and share maritime history, the structure of life at sea, the beauty of our oceans, and the life within is a passion and privilege.”

Sheehy’s love for the ocean is at the heart of his diverse professional experience, including marine science instruction and research, environmental conservation advocacy, nonprofit program directing, and nonprofit strategic development.

At age 7, his main outlet to the outdoors was through learning to sail with his dad, with missteps being the best teacher. He fell in love with the ocean and has made a life of learning from it and sharing it with others.

Sheehy studied the ocean and its wildlife as a working scuba diver for NOAA and a research associate at the Marine Science Institute at UCSB. He lectured at UCSB in marine biology and taught marine science for Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program in Jamaica and aboard the tall ship Westward for Sea Education Association.

Sheehy led marine science research in the Caribbean for UCSB and marine conservation advocacy as director of marine programs for the Santa Barbara Channelkeeper. He went on to support marine conservation as executive director of the Code Blue Foundation, and was an independent consultant to business and nonprofit groups on strategy and development.

Before joining CCOA, Sheehy increased opportunities for youth to access the coast and oceans as director of development aboard the tall ships Irving Johnson, Exy Johnson, and American Pride for Los Angeles Maritime Institute and Children’s Maritime Institute in San Pedro and Long Beach, California, respectively.

He holds a master’s in marine ecology and evolutionary biology from UCSB, an MBA from Pepperdine University, and a Certificate in Social Entrepreneurship from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, Executive Program.

Sheehy sits on the steering team for the LA STEM Collective, a network of more than 40 entities committed to equitable access of STEM informal education for youth in the Los Angeles area.

For more, visit sbmm.org or call 805-962-8404.

Double-masted tall Ship Mystic Whaler is110-feet in length.

Double-masted tall Ship Mystic Whaler is110-feet in length. (Courtesy photo)